Wednesday, August 24, 2016

TYRA BANKS:America's Next Top University Professor?

You read the title right. Former Victoria’s Secret supermodel and businesswoman Tyra Banks is moving on from making and breaking modeling hopefuls on “America’s Next Top Model” (she’s executively producing instead) and bringing her famous hard-yet- mentoring style over to teaching classes at Stanford University.

Fortune Magazine reports that starting May 2017, Banks will serve as co-teacher of a post- graduate course on the creation and maintenance of a personal brand, at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. A lucky batch of 25 students will then get to enroll for the course and be instructed by Banks on the perks and trials of being a leader in business, along with the finer points of utilizing media – both old-school traditional and new-age social – to bring across a brand’s strengths to a wide market.

Banks first broke news of her teaching course on Twitter Monday August 22, entitled “Project You: Building and Extending your Personal Brand.”

Her 25 students will be set to create and develop their own personal brands, then share them (after lots of fine-tuning and “honing”) on three distinct platforms, that of local TV, Facebook Live and YouTube. These will fast-track the extension of each of their personal brands towards greater things, if they succeed. And the model-mogul will not have to handle them alone; her co-instructor will be former producer Allison Kruger, who worked on “The View” and “Good Morning America”.

The reality show host was last in a classroom – as a learner – just last 2011, when she got into Harvard Business School as part of an executive education program. From there it was on to bigger things; she is CEO of TYRA Beauty, invested in The Muse, a millennial career site, and is reported to be in talks to host a new reality show called “Funded” where she’ll bring her businesswoman side out this time around in mentoring entrepreneur contestants. According to The Muse co-founder and CEO Kahtryn Minshew, Banks has an uncanny knack in finding up-and- coming businesses that are “relevant to young people”.

In her Monday tweet, Banks stated that she was “beyond excited to teach. It's in my blood and I can't wait to meet my students.” As a professor she intends to carry over her hosting and judging style from “Top Model”, saying, If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them.”

As a parting shot, no, any of her students wanting to learn how to “Smize” will have to go elsewhere. It’s not part of the curriculum and never will be.

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